Build your own DIY Home Security System with Raspberry Pi

In the age of digital technology and always connected hardware, setting up a home security system should transcend the art of putting an alarm-shaped box on the wall. Securing your home in the 21st century should instead utilise all affordable technology to create a system that not only detects, but also alerts, as well as doing its best to identify.

Such security systems can prove expensive to buy as a packaged option, as well as being a little inflexible. DIY security systems offer us a better degree of versatility, as well as having the added bonus of being less costly.

While a DIY option may take longer to setup, the results can be just as good, or even better, than those available through electronics stores and security vendors.

Demand The Right Key For Your Doors

Old fashioned brass keys can be easily copied with a bit of clay and a dodgy keycutter.

For the modern home security system, you should consider moving forward withan NFC system, which will unlock your property as soon as the correct tag is in the vicinity.

The system could be applied to various locations, from the front and back door to your shed or garage, or even a safe or particular room in the house you wish to keep locked. As with all of the DIY home security projects listed it is worth considering some form of Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), in case intruders attempt to disable your security system by cutting the power.

Detect Intruders On Your Property With A Raspberry Pi

Love for the Raspberry Pi here at MakeUseOf is strong, so it makes sense that we should include this versatile little computer – the hub of so many DIY projects – in this list. Since 2013 a small video camera has been available for the Raspberry Pi, small enough to fit inside many Pi cases, and if this isn’t enough then the Raspberry Pi B+, released in 2014, has additional USB ports for additional webcams (although these should ideally be powered from another source).


The Raspberry Pi is small enough to position outside your home as a security camera, and with the right software can be configured as a motion capture system, capable of detecting intruders and even sending photos and video to your cloud storage and sending email alerts to your phone.

We’ve previously covered the steps required for creating a motion capture security system with a Raspberry Pi, but note that since then things have progressed significantly in this area. There’s even a video surveillance distro you can download and install, called MotionPi.

Monitor Your Locked Doors With An Arduino

While the Raspberry Pi solution will check your property for movement, it won’t do much in the way of making a noise. It also isn’t the best way to check if someone is opening and closing doors in your house.

For this, we turn to the DIYer’s other best friend: the Arduino. Several variations on the basic Arduino intruder detection alarm system described previously by James Bruce exist. Here’s a look at it in action:

In this example, James has used a proximity sensor, but it is also possible to setup a laser tripwire system or use a similar setup with a a magnetic door sensor.

Home Security With Your Old Smartphones

No Arduino? Short of a Raspberry Pi? Worry not, as you can use other hardware you might have lying around or in drawers for home security purposes.

One great solution – particularly if the device had a good camera – is to use one or more old smartphones as a network of security cameras.


It makes sense to take advantage of any suitable hardware you already own, and a smartphone is wireless ready. With a wireless system you can position your cameras wherever you need them (preferably indoors) and even alter their whereabouts to fox strangers who might be visiting to “case your joint”.

Using some old Android phones (an Android-compatible Windows Mobile device such as the HTC HD2 could also be used) with the IP Webcam app installed and the Webcam Watcher desktop app for Windows, it shouldn’t take more than an hour to setup, position and start monitoring activity in and around your property.

PC-Based Home Security Project

There is a strong argument for using smaller devices for DIY home security projects, but for reliability you may opt for a dedicated PC.

While the power requirements might be a little OTT (dump the old power-hungry CPU for something more modern if this is the case) a wider selection of apps and strong cross-platform support exists, whether you’re using Windows or a suitable Linux distro.


Ryan Dube has previously illustrated how to build a Wi-Fi home surveillance system using a PC as the main central component, quite similar to the system using old smartphones above. Meanwhile, as illustrated by James, you can configure such a system to issue alerts to your iPhone and notifications can also be setup for other mobile devices.

Note that monitoring apps can prove temperamental at times. Make sure you make the right choice when selecting an app, looking for compatibility and reliability, and ensuring it is capable of displaying images from wireless webcams.

Five security systems that you can make yourself and secure your property, preferably with mobile alerts! Have you tried any of these already? Would you care to suggest something we might have missed? Tell us!

Image Source: Image Credit: Burglar Via Shutterstock, Web Surveillance Camera via Shutterstock


Learn to Code Windows 10 Apps: Microsoft’s Free Course for Beginners

The Universal Windows Platform from Microsoft is something that allows you to develop cross-platform apps for multiple devices- ranging from Windows Phone, Windows 10 PCs, Xbox to Raspberry Piand HoloLens.

This course is designed for the absolute beginner, so it doesn’t matter if you’re a pro developer or just a newbie. If you are looking to learn how to code Windows 10 apps, this video series for absolute beginners and the developer’s guide to Windows 10 is must for you. (Links are given in the end).

In this video series of 80 tutorials, Bob Tabor guides you through the concepts of coding Windows 10 apps in C#.

The only pre-requisite for this course is the basic understanding of the C# fundamentals. If you don’t have this with you, first checkout the C# fundamental series. (Link in the end)

The course curriculum revolves around two major parts. The first part teaches you how to code basic apps and the second one deals with an extensive tutorial for building four complete apps: weather, a hero explorer app, soundboard and an album cover matching game.

On the web, there are numerous resources available to teach you C#, but finding a free course with A-Z of the language could be tough. So, Microsoft’s guide is a great place to learn C# and coding Windows 10 apps.

Also, future of Windows 10 depends on the apps in the Windows Store. So, who knows you could become the next big-shot coder at Redmond building the next Xbox app.

Learn to code: Learn Mobile Game Development By Building 15 Games

Here’s the introductory video:

Here are the course links:

C# Programming fundamentals: C# Fundamentals for Absolute Beginners
For absolute beginners: Windows 10 development for absolute beginners
For learning at a faster pace: Developer’s Guide to Windows 10

Learn it Faster: The Entire Python Language in a Single Image

A China-based developer Yusheng has created this brilliant infographic that encapsulates the entire Python 3 programming language in a single image. Python is one of the most popular programming languages and it’s a skill every programmer must possess.

Yusheng’s mind map is here for you in easily understandable format that will help you to brush up your memory.

You can find the image online on GitHub, or save it directly from below.

You can also grab your Python Hacker Bundle here.

python 3 in one pic



Google Announces The OnHub WiFi Router

Today Google announced that they are moving into the WiFi router market. The new router is produced through a partnership with TP-Link and it’s called OnHub. Google is marketing OnHub as a router that is simple to setup, effortless to maintain, and highly reliable. Much like Apple’s AirPort Extreme, the OnHub is a very tall router in order to integrate internal antennas, and it is managed via an app for your iOS or Android device. The mobile app will also allow you to see which devices are using bandwidth, and to apply QoS rules to limit devices from using too much. During setup it will automatically select the best channel for minimal interference, and can adjust on its own as necessary. Software updates are also automatically downloaded and applied, which makes it essentially self maintaining as long as Google’s promise of reliable connectivity is met.

As far as specifications go, OnHub is marketed as an AC 1900 router which really says it’s a 3×3 802.11ac router that which has a data rate of 1300Mbps on an 802.11ac link and 600Mbps on an 802.11n link. In addition to being a dead simple WiFi router, OnHub also comes with support for the major protocols which will be used by home automation devices, including Bluetooth Smart, Google Brillo/Weave, and IEEE 802.15.4. The OnHub router is available for preorder now from various retailers in the US, and both the blue and black versions cost $199

Source: Official Google Blog